What Is A Good Substitution For Peat Moss?
It Is An Environmental “No-No” In The UK
I received an email from Mike who asked:
I am very interested in your excellent web site and in particular hypertufa recipes and projects.
I am based in the UK and peat is a big “no-no” environmentally. Can you recommend a peat substitute for hypertufa recipes? What is the function of peat in hypertufa? Sorry to bombard you with queries.
Best wishes. Mike
Thank you for contacting me.
Interesting, I did not know peat moss is a complete “no-no” in the UK! (How come, if I may ask? There is so much of it in the world it certainly is a “renewable” plant/product, and I have read that Canada, for instance, does practice controlled harvesting.)
Anyway, you can use coir. I am not personally acquainted with using it, but I am aware some folks do use it as an acceptable substitute for the peat moss. I do have detailed information about a coir based hyperturfa recipe on my website (thanks to your inquiry.)
But, here is the basic recipe. As is most often the case with hypertufa recipes, you may need to adjust a ratio of one of the ingredients (normally it’s the amount of water used or not used). Try a smaller project before you tackle a huge project!
Basic Hypertufa Recipe Using Coir In Place Of Peat Moss
3 parts coir (coconut fiber)
2 parts Portland Cement type I-II
3 parts perlite
(water as needed for proper consistency)
To read all the information, please go to: Hypertufa Recipe using Coir.
About the purpose of the peat in hypertufa: over time, if left out in the elements (your garden), the peat will decompose, leaving pits and crevices. This replicates real Tufa rock, which is the whole idea of folks working with hypertufa. I will assume the coir will decompose, but maybe will take a little longer to do so??
I do hope this info helps.
Mike emailed me back and said:
Thank you Claudia for all the information.
There’s still plenty of peat around in all purpose compost here and you can still get peat but it’s known as being an unsustainable resource and all the big retailers have policies to reduce and eradicate it over the next few years.